Summary: From the co-author of Outrageous Fortune and The Almighty Johnsons comes Serial Killers.
This cleverly written and wickedly capricious comedy follows a week in the lives of the six writers of Heart of Hearts, a TV medical soap opera.
As the play opens, the writers of Heart of Hearts gather at their work desk - aka the "table of pain" - attempting to think up a dramatic and gripping way to be rid of one of the main characters, heart-throb surgeon Dr Robert Gilligan. The character has become boring, ratings are falling and, besides which, the writers find the actor extremely annoying, so it's time for him to depart in a blockbusting storyline!
However, Andrew Lomas, who plays the role of Dr Gilligan, doesn't want to be written out - Heart of Hearts has become his life. Unable to cope with the reality of acting and the myth of the story, he takes the writers hostage and, as he literally holds a gun to their heads to get them to change the script, the soap opera becomes all too real.
Interspersed between the editorial room scenes are scenes from Heart of Hearts itself - acted by the same writers (whose own interpersonal relationships, it becomes apparent, are not what they seem) taking the roles of their soap opera alter egos. As they play out the ever more ludicrous stories of lies, jealousy, lust, betrayal and revenge, it is evident that the lines between art and life are blurred almost beyond recognition.
Serial Killers won New Zealand writer James Griffin the 2000 Chapman Tripp Award for Best New Writer. It was subsequently updated in 2002 and debuted as a TV series in 2005 to rave reviews. It has been performed by major New Zealand theatre companies and in the UK and Australia.
James Griffin's other writing credits include Gloss, Being Eve, Street Legal, Mercy Peak, Shortland Street and more recently co-creating the movie Sione's Wedding.
Dates and times: Wednesday 19 to Saturday 22 September 2012 at 8 pm, Sunday 23 September at 3 pm, Tuesday 25 and Wednesday 26 September at 6.30 pm, Thursday 27 to Saturday 29 September at 8 pm
Ticket prices: $22 waged adults, $20 seniors, unwaged adults and tertiary students, $15 Stagecraft members and high-school students with valid ID. Groups of 10+ (all on the same night) $18 per person. Two tickets for $22 on the first Thursday for all ticket categories. Early bird discount: book for the first week of the play and get $2 off the full ticket price ($20 instead of $22).
- Elaine - Ange Fitzharris
- Simone - Ania Upstill
- Pauline - Lydia Harris
- Sally - Kaaryn Cater
- Andrew - Geoff Simmons
- Matt - Alan Carabott
- Alan - David Cox
Iona Anderson (director), Christine Hunt (production manager), Sue Saville, Joy Hellyer (rehearsal prompt), Andrea Wiechern (stage manager), David Murray (lighting designer), Rachel Upchruch (lighting operator), Alan Burden (sound designer), Erin Nelson (sound operator), Paul Sadlier, Robyn Sadlier (props), Sam Perry (set construction coordinator), Mary-Clare Reilly (wardrobe coordinator), Tanya Piejus (photographer; poster, programme and flyer designer), Blue House Productions (videography), Shannon Tubman , Joy Hellyer (front of house manager)
Photos (each photo opens in a new browser window):
- The cast of Heart of Hearts outside St Celia's (JPG, 225 kb)
- Gilligan's Angels (JPG, 292 kb)
- Gilligan: Armed and Dangerous
(JPG, 228 kb)
- Nurse Sophie, Dr Gilligan and Nurse Jane - surgery awaits
(JPG, 221 kb)
- The Table of Pain (JPG, 254 kb)
- Sally and her boys (Alan, Andrew and Matt)
(JPG, 234 kb)
- Sally and the Phantom of the Operating Theatre
(JPG, 437 kb)
- The Operation game: what the writers really spend their time on (JPG, 291 kb)
- The network party (if they'd gone) (JPG, 328 kb)
- Gilligan gets the Oscar (in his head) (JPG, 493 kb)
- Elaine and Alan - it's all about the Edmond's cook book
(JPG, 295 kb)
- Alan's fantasy? (JPG, 273 kb)
See the trailer for Serial Killers by Blue House Productions on YouTube